Look at the Library of Congress
While many may not classify the Library of Congress (www.loc.gov) as a starting point for online genealogy research, it has a number of important features and collections that warrant its inclusion in this chapter.
The Library of Congress Online Catalog (http://catalog.loc.gov) is one of the best places to search online for published local and family histories. While the books themselves are not available online, you can easily see what books have been published that may relate to your research. With this information you can try contacting local libraries or historical societies to see if they have a copy of this book you can borrow, or have them make copies of the pages that concern your ancestors.
The American Memory Collection (http://memory.loc.gov) presents a digital record of American history, chronicling historic events, people, places, and ideas through documents, maps, sheet music, moving images, sound recordings, and oral histories. Enter your family name or hometown in the search box available at the top of each page to see if information about your ancestors or the community in which they lived is included in the online American Memory collection.